More about Doug


I was born in Adelaide, South Australia, to West Australian parents who were Salvation Army Officers in Moonta.  It was the middle of the second world war.  Immediately after the war Mum and Dad and I were on a troopship headed for Ceylon (Sri Lanka now) and for the next three years I was a missionary’s kid.  Most of the time was in South India, including during the partition into India and Pakistan.  I also gained a little sister.  I was so disappointed that Mum and Dad’s little girl wasn’t black – after all she had been born in India.

Subsequently Dad trained for the Presbyterian ministry, and I was a preacher’s kid.  In 1977 the Uniting Church formed and we were a part of that great move. Money was always in short supply, but Mum and Dad always found a way to provide a good home. 

University was an impossible dream, I thought, but it came true in an Education Department bond.  It provided a small living allowance while I gained my B Sc at UWA (organic chemistry major) and  Dip Ed, which I upgraded to B Ed in my first two years of teaching (quite a battle).  All I was required to do was to teach for four years or pay my bond back.  As it turned out, the Education Department had me for twenty five years, starting at Scarborough SHS and Mt Lawley SHS, followed by Senior Master of Science (as the term was then) at Albany, Rossmoyne and Armadale, then Principal District High School at Dumbleyung, then Deputy Principal at Collie and Eastern Hills (Mundaring).

A desire to amalgamate or unify my teaching and my faith led to me becoming Foundation Principal at Lake Joondalup Baptist College, the first of the large K to 12 Baptist colleges, and Tranby College, Baldivis, for the Uniting Church.  Each of these colleges is now large and successful due to the commitment of many people in many ways.

Since then Sue and I have been small scale orchardists in Bridgetown, growing chestnuts, cherries and berries, and then, at Byford, being heavily involved in our small but very active local congregation of the Uniting Church, where I play the organ each week and preach twice a month.

In 2007 I formed a dance band with three teenagers from church.  We rapidly grew to twelve and now can go on the road with fifteen or more.  We have volunteered our time to teach music at $5 per lesson.  Assistance from the Police Department, a local doctor, and the church meant that we were able to buy four each of guitars, alto saxophones, flutes and keyboards.  Later we also taught violin.  Preference was given to local young people. 

Low cost monthly dances have been running since the beginning of 2008, and we have played at many other places, including retirement homes and youth camps.

Throughout our married life Sue and I have attended and been involved in the local church and its work in the community.  


• I married Sue, who is a wonderful wife, and have three children and seven grandchildren

• Trained as a chemistry and physics teacher so of course became a biology teacher

• Did not study biology or human biology at school, and did only zoology 1 at university, so of course became a member of the Biology Syllabus Committee for WA

• Was a leader at two Camp Cooinda water sports adventure camps for young people, and based out of Bairnsdale, Victoria.  In each case this involved driving 4 000 km across the Nullarbor.  On the first occasion, in 1966, this major national highway still had nearly 1 000 km as dirt road.  The camps were run by Rev Dr David Merritt and were the first adventure camps in the area.

• Organised Technical and Further Education kayak building course for students.  My 16 foot timber and canvas 2 person kayak is still in use after 45 years

• Ran food intake and maze running experiments with mice.  Mice on pies and beer did best (unfortunately)

• Ran many experiments starting with day old chicks kept in the lab for several weeks, noting social behaviour and the effect of injections of testosterone (no longer allowed)

• Built solar barbecues that cook sausages better

• Designed quieter and more stable students desks and had them manufactured under licence

• Designed a self pumping pipeline, suitable for pumping water from the Ord River in the north of WA to Perth and Adelaide.  This was demonstrated successfully to the WA Government but a request for a 1 km pilot pipeline was rejected by the Water Authority


About Me